Wilson Screw-barrel microscope – circa 1720

A very rare Wilson screw-barrel microscope, unsigned, with ivory handle.  The main body of the instrument has a screw-in condenser lens that focuses a specimen when held in a spring-loaded clamp.  The main body with condenser in closed position measures 2 ” with a 1” diameter.  Four lenses accompany the set.  Two have brass screw on lens caps, one has an ivory screw cap.  The fourth lens remains in place when the microscope is stored.  The lenses are numbered 1, 2, 3, & 6.  An ivory handle screws into the body.  The simple microscope is designed to hold slides, forceps, and glass specimen vials.  Two large ivory sliders are included, along with a brass slider that comes with an accompanying cylindrical ivory talc box with included talcs and brass rings.  The set also includes a brass tweezers and forceps.  The microscope is finished in lacquered brass with nearly complete lacquer coverage.   The microscope and accessories are housed in a wood shagreen covered case, with plush lining and red paint on interior edges.  The microscope, lenses, case, and accessories are all in excellent usable condition.  Overall, a fine historic example of a Dutch invention that was brought to England very early in the 18th century.

Item 1299

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